Thursday, November 29, 2007


I had hopes of making the trip down to Times Square tomorrow, but sadly my schedule won't allow it. There's always next year. By the looks of things it's very crowded. It's elbow to elbow I'm sure.

All I am finding to read lately is Jimmy Johnson this and that. I don't even bother reading it. I think this has effects on a lot of fans and the media should print some worthwhile stories. I'm sure there are plenty of other things going on other than Johnson getting crowned. Hey!! Helio won Dancing with the Stars!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Clint Bowyer at 190 mph

Clint Bowyer at 190 mph
Originally uploaded by Racefan57
This is a neat tool. Click on my name and you can view my pics at Flickr.

Have a great day!!

pattyjo in her glory

pattyjo in her glory
Originally uploaded by Racefan57

Monday, November 26, 2007

Little Debbie goes Downunder

Now this is good news. Of course putting a rookie in the #21 Lil' Debbie may not help the Wood Brother's for '08, but it's a smart move. Marcos is well liked by fans, drivers and the media. His debut in the Busch Series was darn good... lets just hope he can keep the wrappers on the Little Debbie car.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I hope y'all had a good Thanksgiving weekend. Ours was good with plenty of food and desserts. Seemed to be lacking though and it's probably from being the first off weekend of racing. I've found myself watching college football and a lot of movies. If you haven't seen "Mr. Brooks" and you enjoy suspense thrillers, than I highly recommend it. Kevin Costner as a bad guy for a change. I have also been spending a lot of time with Flickr uploading photos that I have played with in my imaging software. Something to do.
Back to work tomorrow!!
Not much new at all on the NASCAR front.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

White Stuff

Winter has paid us an early visit or perhaps it's a warning of things to come. It started about 4:30 am and by 11:00 am it was still falling. Luckily it did not accumulate much, but the roads proved a challenge with the usual number, more or less, of fender benders. This always amazes me. Every year on the first official snow day drivers have forgotten, from only 8 months ago, how to drive in it. Then of course the local media makes a big deal out of it with graphic footage of a couple of cars with nothing but some smashed up fenders. The talking heads have moved outdoors so they can wear their latest LL Bean parka's on TV and tell us the exact same thing they told us last November. It's so redundant, much like the snow and I feel like they are insulting our intelligence with their patronizing salute to the first snow. Yeah Baby... ya know if we got 24 inches of the crap today that would be news worthy, but hey... it gave me something to bitch about and you're reading it.

This is all in jest of course... actually the snow is rather nice and will be gone tomorrow.

Johnson, Knaus set sights on third Cup title
... can you believe this!! They haven't gotten the damn check yet for this Cup!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

On To Times Square

Times Square in NYC is one of the worlds greatest destinations. I grew up in small town USA on Lake Michigan, Grand Haven, which has it's own little bit of fame. Pictured below [link] is the Grand Haven Musical Fountain. It has been a huge attraction for many decades. One would have to see it to fully appreciate the beauty. Picture Michigan - Grand Haven Musical Fountain

What's this got to do with Champion's week in Times Square? Well, really nothing other than what my memory serves on what was my first sight of Times Square. I was 18, it was in the late fall of 1975 and I ended up in Manhattan somehow. The view of Times Square at night in all it's glory with all it's color and sounds that seemed to blend all together reminded me of the Musical Fountain back home in western Michigan. Seems odd I know, but Times Square is like one big Bluetooth... everything is connected and in sync. Can you imagine the glass shattering noise that will upset this continuity when the Cup Cars roar through. It has got to be awesome.

In many ways I am happy that the '07 NASCAR season has come to an end. It has been a very strange season, almost overwhelming. It has had so many twists and turns, happy moments, sad moments, shocking moments and stupid moments. And for me it did not end on a good moment, because I am far from a Jimmie Johnson fan. '08 should prove interesting and I hope Toyota's and Dodges dominate.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Farewell Busch Series, but at least you went out with a bang. The last Busch race yesterday at Homestead was anything but boring with several lead changes and plenty of action. My prayers were not answered though as one final "Buschwhacker" did take the win. Jeff Burton winning was better than some of the other likely Cup drivers. That #29 Holiday Inn paint scheme was awesome. For a short time it looked like Steve Wallace was going to stay near the front, but the inevitable happened and he ripped the fenders off it again. The guys in the booth sure gave young Steve a lot of plugs on the tele, but that was probably to keep Rusty from blowing a fuse.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

From Bud Pole to "Light" Pole

With Johnson on the pole there's actually a chance he might not be in Victory Lane for the final race of '07. It's not too often that a pole sitter wins. I've accepted his chances of this years Championship is all but owned, but I truly hope that we have a feel good race tomorrow with an unlikely or deservedly so winner. Like that of Ryan Newman or Mark Martin or even David Ragan for pete's sake. If Johnson wins again, 5 in a row, I will blow a gasket. Will we have to see that TV commercial after this year with he and Knaus doing up that blue Camaro? The Camaro I swear I've seen in other TV ad's, where Johnson says, with his pompous ass attitude, "We could always do my wife's car" yeah OK Jimmy...since Chad's probably doing your wife anyway he might as well do her car too.

I've been paying closer attention to Jeff Gordon lately. Earlier this week he was interviewed on NASCAR Now and I saw a different Jeff Gordon. He has changed a lot this year. It's probably happiness coupled with fatherhood and maturity. It used to be I could not tolerate him and his nasal drawl, but somewhere in my heart I've found some new respect for him and I don't believe it's just me.

Mike Skinner proved that anything can happen in a close Championship race. Kudos to Ron Hornaday and too bad for Mike for losing a rear wheel. Perhaps Johnson will lose an axle tomorrow!!

Today will bring the final Busch race not only of '07 but forever. Please Lord, let there be a winner other than Shrub, Carl, Happy or Hamlin. And maybe Steve "Blinky" Wallace can keep the fenders on it. Amen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Start to Finish

Another project near completion. The exterior is finished. It took longer than expected due to weather. I have some loose ends on the interior, but it will remain a shell until the home owner gets together another 25 or 30k to finish it off inside. It's always a good feeling to walk away with a satisfied customer.

That's the homeowner on the left getting his hands dirty.

This is ONE funny video
When the Fuel Runs Out

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The King and Family

I do hope the Petty's can pull things together. The recent choice to move to the Yates garage in Moorseville may help. Richard was on the tele Sunday and said if after the 3 year lease is up with Robert Yates and things have improved he will consider building a new complex.

What a legacy, both incredibly impressive and tragic. Adam's death was very sad and having myself lost a teenage daughter to a car accident I have nothing but empathy for this family. His death prompted the family to found the Victory Junction Gang Camp which is a Hole in the Wall Gang camp. These camps are sprouting up around the country with actor Paul Newman to thank for. We are fortunate to have one of about a dozen of these camps right in our backyard. Double "H" Ranch is located in the Adirondacks about 10 minutes west of Lake George. It has been established for about 15 years and has been an incredible attribute to our community. Prior to that it was The Hidden Valley resort. This place, a lodge, has it's own snow ski hill and private lake and when I was a 21 year old I worked there one winter as a lift operator. The people that help Paul Newman build these camps are a Godsend to the children who need it so much.

I wish the Petty's nothing but good fortune and I'd love to see Bobby Labonte drive a winning car.

On the Lighter Side... Can you relate?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Veteran's Day

What a boring a whacked out race at Phoenix. Things could not have been more predictable. Well, other than The Biff charging forward near the end. That was the best part of the race. It was a replay of Texas. NASCAR should tweek the Chase format and move some of these flat tracks around. The drivers love these tracks, but from a fans POV it's boring!! At least I think so.

Johnson or Gordon? I'm rooting for Jeff.

I've built a new blog site. ONE Loose Lugnut is now up and running. It's just for fun and because I liked the idea of having two sites. But beware... I may not be so well behaved at the other site... my dark side may emerge over there, and I may write about anything I feel like other than racing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Need New Name for Buschwhacker

TSRFan brought something to my mind in a comment he left. The "Buschwhackers" will need a new title. He said "Nationwide Ninja's", which is pretty cool, but will it stick?
Last night Pattyjo and I were sitting around watching Shrub whack the crap out of the Busch race and I posed this question to her.
"We need a new name for the Buschwhackers, what do you think Honey?"
She came up with a few, but she said what I also feel... it's not an easy one.
Here's a list and please add to it.
  1. Nationwide Wonders... Pattyjo's choice
  2. Widewhackers... My choice
  3. Nationwide Ninja's
  4. Wisecrackers
  5. Nationwide Whiners... I like this
  6. Nationwhackers
  7. Nationwide Invaders
  8. Nationwide Thugs

None of then are very catchy and long on the tongue.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Phoenix Cuisine

If you're a regular reader here you'll see that I've spiced up my site a bit with a few changes. I added an MP3 player [bottom of page] but turned off the auto start. Anyone can click and listen. I got the idea from DaleJarrett4Ever's site and actually, I had been looking for a way to place music on the site, but had little luck until I found this player. It's mostly for my own listening pleasure while I write or read, but is operable by anyone.

I missed the Truck race last night. The sleep fairy dusted me with a truckload. I hope that Andy Lally is okay. To crack a concrete wall.... I'm sure he has got some pain. Mike Skinner held on to the points lead for two weeks. That's a first in what had been a weekly flip-flop by he and Hornaday. The finale at Homestead... who will it be?? Same question may be posed for Gordon and Johnson... but tune in tomorrow to see if that gap closes or widens.

Need a chuckle...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Revival of The Rock

Rockingham... a victim of the ever changing world of NASCAR and due to things such as lack of attendance, inclement weather and conflicting dates with California and Texas, she was shut down. Earlier this year, Andy Hillenburg purchased "The Rock" with a promise to bring racing back to this beloved high banked one miler. Things so far are moving forward with an ARCA inaugural event scheduled for Sunday, May 4th, 2008. It has been appropriately named the "Carolina 500". Hillenburg states, "We're really looking forward to hosting the Carolina 500 and making this race one of the cornerstones of the ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule as well as the marquis event for Rockingham Speedway."

God bless you Andy!!

I hope Smith considers banking at NHMS. It's a wonderful venue, but some high banking there, like "The Rock", would make Loudon an exciting race.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

No Easy Answer

As a boy I recall my dad speaking about the then new "Chain" restaurants popping up all over. He was a private owner of several small businesses, a few which were restaurants, but he held his head high while he maintained his success.

It all started nearly a century ago, but the Franchise boom exploded in the 60's with McDonalds taking the lead. While it use to be primarily fast food joints, it has trickled into nearly every facet of modern day consumption. Almost every penny we spend as consumers, whether it be the gas we put in our cars or the junk we put in our mouths, is related to Franchise's.

Although, while there are still the few Mom and Pop country stores across mostly rural America and private individuals do still have some hold on small business, we are ruled by these giants. The little neighborhood stores that helped build this country struggle and dwindle in numbers while the Franchise industry continues to dominate and grow.

I agree that NASCAR's future is nearing a financial crisis. The "little guy" hardly stands a chance. Look at what we're seeing already... 3 teams from a 4 team owner in the Chase and it's possible it could be a 1, 2, 3 punch. I'm talking about Hendrick of course, Gordon, Johnson and Kyle Busch. Yes these guys are good, but they also have a huge advantage over many because of the mighty $$$.

So the question is... Is Franchising the way to go for NASCAR?? Will this level the playing field or will one Franchise be stronger than another? Say goodbye to the Robby Gordon's and say hello to corporate redundancy.

I do wish there were an easy answer, but there's not and the problem will only fester and eventually infect unless some genius comes up with a viable solution.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Salute to the Busch Series

Ok, so I'm searching for a relevant image to place on this post and this is what I came up with. Not exactly what I was looking for, but it jumped out at me. Maybe because it's a very good likeness of Stewart or maybe because I own the previous versions of the game or it could be the thing I've been thinking about...2008. Yes, 2008. Bring it on!! Not that I'm trying to speed up the time because it goes fast enough as it is. I've recently received AARP junk mail with solicitations to get me to sign up and all the good reasons why I should do so. Like I really need that!! I don't ever consider myself anywhere near AARP status... whoever told these people to scare the begeezus out of unsuspecting "young" 50 year old males? Okay, I've gotten off on a tangent and the subject, although relevant to "time" but not necessarily old age.

I decided to change the logos on my sidebar today. Why today? I really don't have a single answer for that. We still have a solid 8 weeks left in '07, and this year has been good to me in many ways. One reason is, the '07 NASCAR season has been one of the craziest ever with more changes than the weather is here in the Northeast. Then I read stuff about how NASCAR has lame ideas to change the Nationwide series.. [that's the only logo I could find]... I agree that something needs to be done, but it's not even the Nationwide Series yet and they're calling it that by name. The Busch Series was founded in 1982, but it goes back to the days of the old Sportsman series of the 1950's. It wasn't until 1989, that NASCAR changed the rules requiring cars to use current body styles, similar to the Winston Cup cars. Now they have ideas of changing the cars to Pony's with a COT format. I just feel that the Busch league needs a proper salute and a farewell. It's been around for a long time and has given new, young and talented [sometimes not so talented] driver's a place to learn and possibly make the big league. It's also provided us diehard racefan's another venue and has made a ton of money for the France family and Bruton Smith. What they need to do is make things easier for the single "Minor" league only car owners. They talk about changing the point system so Minor league regulars can win the championship's, but then if they move forward with drastic car changes half, or more, of these teams won't have a prayer with the amount of money it'll take and these changes are said to come as early as '09. It's all good in theory, but where is the logic or MONEY?
They could always try this.

Goodbye old friend. It's been a pleasurable journey. I just hope your Successor brings about the positive change you so deserve.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Go Jeff!!!

Jimmy Johnson put another feather in is hat. The Luck of the Irish is with this guy. He could've allowed Kenseth the win, accepted 2nd place, but he raced and raced hard risking plenty in what turned out to be a slammin' finish.
I'm a little disappointed because I'm not a JJ fan nor a Knaus fan, but these guys sure have it goin on!! 3 in a row and 9 for the season... so far. Two races left and with this kind of momentum Johnson may be crowned again.

Pattyjo and I are considering a day trip to Manhattan during Champions week. I hate driving in the city, but we can catch a train outa Croton-on-the-Hudson, a town 45 mins. north of NYC and 2 1/2 hours south of us. Times Square is a great place to visit and to see the cars roaring down the streets has got to be a sight.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

SEMA Las Vegas

This weekend marks the end of the 2007 SEMA show in Las Vegas. I am a car crazy sorta guy with a tender spot for the classics and there is no other show on the planet that offers glimpses into the past like this show, and I cannot forget the crystal ball of the future either.

The custom autos one can see here are phenomenal and the best in the business is Chip Foose, His talent is absolutely incredible.

I owe a special thanks to a Promotions Associate that sent me an email with exclusive photos of the SEMA event and one car I am particularly fond of is the one below... a '57 Belair. My favorite classic and my birth year.

In NASCAR... I really thought Smoke had the Busch race in the bag yesterday...that is until he put his right fender into the left bumper of a slower car. Good race overall and Carl Edwards took home the '07 Busch { last one } Crown. Roger Penske has his hands full with Sam Hornish. That guy is one of the best Openwheeler's there is, but he is cumbersome with the stockcars. I hope he catches on... he could be a driving force in the '08 Penske garage.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Texas Roast

Watching Trackside on Speed last night brought several smiles to my face and even a couple of outbursts of laughter. Poor Larry Mac!! Yet he just flows with all the abuse he gets from J. Hammond, E. Sadler and S. Byrnes, but how can they not slaughter Larry Mac?! He had the Texas 20 gallon hat from hell on, or as guest Jeff Burton said... he got it from a "Toy Story" costume shop... Toy Story Costume Woody. Jeff Hammond didn't look much better... he's got a new Garth Brooks theme going on... See full-size image. Not that Garth is bad looking, it's just unbecoming for Jeff. Check out the pic of Garth and if you saw Speed last night you'll get a chuckle.

Mike Skinner and Ron Hornaday continue their exchange of points leader for the NCTS Championship. Skinner, also a guest on Speed last night, has opened up the lead to over 50 points and he has qualified 14th for tomorrows Cup race. These guys have done this "Teeter-Tottering" in the past. Kudos to Ted Musgrave for the big Texas win, but only after several crashes that ultimately gave Ted a victory under a "Green-White Checker".

Friday, November 2, 2007

I Conceed

It's all but official, yet sources have indeed confirmed that Bruton Smith has aquired NHIS. I found an interesting article in The Boston Globe, Sources: Bahre agrees to sell NHIS that at least gave the battle between my mind and my heart a bit of hope. Smith is good for the sport in so many ways, yet his power is frightening. He has bought himself a gem and us Nor'Easterner's can only pray he treats her with all the respect and TLC she deserves.

Texas weather is great this time of year!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Where's My Dang Red Pen?

Hearing that Bruton Smith has his eyes {and cash} on NHIS ridiculous. Yes, apparently Bob Bahre, current owner of Loudon, wants to sell this beloved track of New England and he has had several interested parties. Smith has his head buried up his... well ya know. Coming from a business standpoint it's just plain silly for him to consider this purchase. My fear is... this is my home track and Smith has way too many irons on the fire. Chances are he'd take from the NHIS track and place more on other venues. Little Loudon in the Northeast would be put on the back burner. Loudon needs an owner with nothing but Loudon on their minds. We'll find out more on Friday when Brute opens his yap in Texas.